What happened to Spinefarm’s YouTube channel?

January 17th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala

Account has been suspended

Just heard from a friend of a friend that their band’s music videos have been removed from YouTube. And behold, if you go to the bands official website and click on any of the videos it tells you that “the video has been removed due to terms of use violation”.

Now what makes this interesting is that those videos were uploaded by their record company Spinefarm Records. Scroll down on their site and they proudly link to the company’s YouTube account. Click on the link and (as of 17th of January 01.00) you get this:

This account is suspended.

Spinefarm is fully owned by Universal Music Group and is one of the biggest Finnish labels. They are home to bands like Children of Bodom, DragonForce, Nightwish and Machinae Supremacy. And it seems the official videos from all of those bands have been nuked as well. For example clicking on The Islander from Nightwish gives you:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WMG.

That would put blame on Warner Music Group, a competitor of Universal. Though somehow it seems unlikely that the four largest record companies in the world would be intentionally doing something so petty as to having eachothers YouTube accounts deleted.

WHat’s clear is that there has been a major SNAFU somewhere, but where? In theory being Finnish Spinefarm would not have the right to put their artist’s songs on YouTube without permission from Teosto – the finnish royalties collection agency. But somehow I don’t think they are to blame. And even though the Nightwish videos finger WMG I’d still rather blame incompetence than malice. So has Universal Music ordered the takedown of their entire catalog and their own marketing has been caught in that? Or does this have something to do with the new copyright detection they seem to be testing?

If you have any insight please drop us a comment. I’d very much like to know what has happened here.

Morning Update:
It seems that some bands that have a deal with Spinefarm in Finland/Europe are under different companies elsewhere in the world. Both Nightwish and DragonForce are signed to Roadrunner Records in some parts of the world and Roadrunner is owned by Warner Music Group.

So it seems likely that complaints from WMG might have something to do with this. While many Spinefarm’s bands are not distributed by Warner anywhere in the world it could be that the complainst from the ones that are have beene nough for YouTube to remove the whole account.

Terratorial deals are so much fun in the age of the internet….

Update 2:
As falconer pointed out from the comments all Roadrunner’s official videos have been removed as well. What I forgot was that Warner is, um, in negotioations with YouTube on royalties and has remanded that YouTube removes all videos from their artists.

And I imagined record companies had gotten enough of shooting their own foot with embracing non-DRM downloads and whatnot and not (yet) killing the awesomeness that is Spotify. But apparently there’s still a place for high paid lawyers to find new ways to make life difficult for everyone.

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43 Responses to “What happened to Spinefarm’s YouTube channel?”

  1. falconer says:

    All the music videos from the Roadrunner’s account were removed earlier this month. And The Islander video was also removed from Nightwish’s official Youtube account. There’s another reason why record companies suck, they don’t allow you to distribute your own videos.

    This is sad…

    If this goes on, we can say goodbye to good quality official music videos on Youtube and all we’ll get are videos that the users have recorded from MTV and uploaded. Oh wait, they don’t show any good music on MTV.

  2. Janos says:


    News like this makes me want to pirate as much music as possible and to do my part in bringing down the dinosaurs of the music industry. Unfortunately I have this compulsion of wanting to pay the artists for their music :/

  3. Yes, especially since I honestly started to think that maybe music industry has been saved. Spotify seems to do things right, iTunes will offer their catalogue DRM free in a few months – it all seemed really good.

    And then they go and basicly pour honey on themselves, set their hair on fire and run into a cave full of hibernating bears yelling that the furry fagots to wake up…

  4. Emily says:

    “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WMG.” this phrase was used when I tried to load my video I made on youtube. If you go to my channel and click on the channel video, it says that the video is unavailable. Why is this? I did not copyright this from Warner Music Group, this was my own video I made just for entertainment. What is this all about? Please can someone answer this, I have no idea what is going on about WMG and youtube.

    Here is my channel, if you want to check: http://www.youtube.com/user/EmilyChen55


  5. Janos says:

    I think it’s just a matter of time before they shoot down Spotify and Simplify Media. The same ridiculous wankery is going on with PlayStation Home, where it’s doubtful that people will ever get the chance to stream their own music or movies in their personal spaces.

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